Prosecutors determined a Maryland police officer’s use of deadly force likely saved the life of a 3-year-old child.
A distraught woman called 911 July 23 saying her ex-boyfriend had pushed his way into her Silver Spring house, was armed with a knife and was holding their 3-year-old boy hostage.
Jean Carlos Natera-Perez refused to come out of the home despite the efforts of hostage negotiators.
After two hours, officers saw him light something on fire inside the house and heard the child screaming.
Fearing the little boy was in imminent danger, the Emergency Response Team prepared to enter the home and rescue him.
At that point, according to investigators, Perez appeared in a window and was shot and killed by Officer Edward Cochran.
The 3-year-old boy was safely rescued from the home and reunited with his mother.
The Howard County State’s Attorney’s Office conducted the independent police shooting investigation and ruled Cochran’s action was justified.